ON THE GEOLOGY OF STAR WARS
For audiences who grew up with the Star Wars movies, it is difficult not to at least ponder some of the extremely beautiful and perplexing geological structures that exist only in this galaxy far, far away. Structures like the spires of Geonosis raise inquiry into the natural processes that were in place to create such structures. Are they remnants of some gigantic cave system that has eroded over the millennia leaving behind only the stalagmites? Or are the spires trace fossils resembling in-filled burrows? What structures existing on Earth were used as inspiration for the set artists working on the epic?
Scientific comparison from these fictional science films to our own world have spawned such books as The Science of Star Wars by Jeanne Cavelos (1999) and the current museum exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination. Allowing visitors to explore the status of modern science compared to that of the Star Wars films, the exhibit focuses on such topics as hovercraft, starships, and robotics. However, little attention has been given to the geological background that makes up the stage on which these epic events transpire.
From the tragic extinction event of Alderan that changed the geology of the Star Wars galaxy, to the molten Hadean-like surface of Mustafar, the Star Wars saga offers many opportunities to further explore its galactic geology, if for only our own stimulation and exercise.